I recently read an article that was written about GMO foods and seeds. It was brought to my attention by the U.S. Farmer’s and Rancher’s Alliance, Food Dialogue website, they send out articles and publications that may have a negative outlook on agriculture and ask for people to respond, blog, tweet, facebook, etc, on what they think of the issue. The most recent article was entitled “GMO-fed Hamsters Become Infertile, Have Stunted Growth.” With the small tag line underneath reading, “Overall GM sounds like a sweet deal only for Monsanto (and our own FDA and USDA, repeatedly found in bed with them). It remains a bad deal for us, the consumers.” I encourage you to read the article and see what you think, but I also encourage you to read this blog afterwards, maybe I can help put some of your fears at ease. I plan to not use fear to convince you of what I believe about GM products and seeds, ps…I’m not in bed with Monsanto either!
First I was take a back by the article because it never actually cites where it got any of the information that they are claiming as facts, makes me nervous! Plus why all this bashing, when the reality is that Genetically Modified seeds have a very positive side that isn’t once talked about in this article. These are a tool that has come from technology that allows farmers to feed more people with less land. Just as GPS technology helps us be more efficient, we take all the gains that we can to produce the healthiest food per acre that we can. And we’ve come a long ways, today the average farmer feeds 155 people, in 1960 that number was only 25.8! So how can that be possible, mainly because of advances in technology, including the use of GM seeds. Here is another great article that outlines some of the advantages to feeding more with less. But this isn’t to say that we find out a new technology is there and right away everyone is using it without regard to any harmful side effects. Actually it’s the exact opposite! GM seeds and foods have been tested over and over again, and are still being tested today to make sure that they are safe for human and animal consumption. And it’s not only the FDA and USDA doing this research, the EPA and WHO are also involved in testing foods all the time to make sure that what we produce is safe. Here are a few of those regulations:
I think the average consumer would be amazed at how much research is truly done before products are given out or sold to the public. The same goes for pesticides, insecticides, herbicides, they are all under a microscope all the time to make sure safety is at its highest level. Maybe the biggest testament to this is the fact that as a farmer, I eat GMO products, my family does the same. I’m glad that we have a choice to eat whatever we like, and farm the way that we want to farm. I also appreciate all the hard work that companies put in to make sure that what we feed our kids is safe. All at the same time I don’t appreciate fear marketing to try to get people to have a bad taste in their mouth when they see GMO on a label, because if they ate what’s in the package, that taste in their mouth would still just be delicious farm grown corn.
Just be mindful that fear is out there and it’s a powerful voice, and I know at least for me, it’s made me always second guess when I see an article bad mouthing a practice that is helping to feed our ever growing population, without even mentioning any of the benefits it can bring. Also a thanks to the USFRA, it’s nice to know someone is looking out for the best interest of American Agriculture!